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Pizza, Parking, & Police:
A Story of Crusty Corruption

Pizza For Parking

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Pizza is one of the most universally enjoyed dishes and a food most people won’t turn down. An alleged story about the temptation to eat the baked dough topped with delicious proteins, cheeses and veggies ended up costing four officers their jobs.

Jeff Clegg is one of the officers who was fired.  Clegg claimed that employees of a pizza shop would park illegally and place menus visibly in their car window.  When a parking enforcement officer saw the menu, they were not to write a ticket.  If a parking ticket did happen to be issued, it was usually voided.

Clegg’s allegations also say that the officers didn’t write tickets to the employees for over two years because of the deal.  Apparently the parking enforcers would frequent the pizza shop so often that they were on a first name basis with the workers.  Some of the officers would even enter through the back and just grab their own meal!

The officers were in a situation where they could have issued 3 tickets a day to the pizza parlor’s problematic parkers, with each ticket having a fine of $25.  At first, $25 per ticket may not seem like that large of an amount.  Over the course of 2 years however, $75 in parking tickets each day would have amounted to over $19,000 in missed fines!

Following an investigation by a city official who’d heard about Clegg’s allegations about the parking-for-pizza scheme, Clegg and three other officers were fired.  Shortly after that happened, the pizza restaurant’s owner complained directly to the city in person about how upset he was about the officers being fired.  At the same time though, he denied that there was ever a free meal deal happening.

A second investigation was launched by a police agency, but no charges ended up being filed against the pizza parlor’s staff nor the 4 officers that had lost their jobs.

 

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Questions:

1) Keeping in mind that this deal could have cost the city up to $19,000 in missed fines, if charges had ended up being filed as a result of the investigations, what laws would the enforcement officers have been accused of breaking and what penalties might they face?

2) Keeping in mind that this deal could have cost the city up to $19,000 in missed fines, , what charges could be brought against the pizza restaurant owner, and what penalties might he be dealt?

3) Suppose the allegations were eventually proven to not be true though: Could the officers take action against the city for being fired over false accusations?   If you think they could, explain how you think the officers would benefit from suing the city – what would they get out of it?   If you don’t think they could, explain what makes you think they’re prevented from filing a case against their employers.


Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:
http://kutv.com/news/local/slc-parking-enforcement-officers-fired-for-taking-kickbacks-for-not-writing-tickets

Contributed by – J. Plummer

 

FAA Investigates Harrison Ford After He Flies Over Jetliner Awaiting Takeoff

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You might be able to complete the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, but that doesn’t mean you’ll outrun the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to enforce laws and regulation!

In February of 2017, NPR reported that the FAA would be investigating Harrison Ford for flying his plane over a jetliner that had been waiting to takeoff – a violation of FAA safety procedures.  The incident occurred as a result of Ford landing on the wrong runway.  While he may have played a rebel-with-a-cause pilot that got away with everything in Star Wars while acting in the roll of Han Solo, in real life Mr. Ford is as subject to the law and FAA procedures as much as any other pilot.

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Questions:

1) What’s a story you recall where a celebrity had a run-in with the law?

2) Did you think the person received special treatment or harsher treatment because they were celebrities?

3) Sometimes, people may be ‘made an example by a court – after they are found legally responsible for a crime and when their punishment is being decided, a judge may decide to ‘send a message to the community’ that a type of crime will not only be illegal, but punished harshly.  Then, the give the person the biggest punishment possible (there may still be limits to what the punishment can be based on the laws around the crime being punished).  Sometimes this can happen to famous people.  What do you think: Why is it far or unfair to let a person’s fame influence the size (scope and intesnsity) of their punishment?


Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/15/515328041/faa-investigating-after-harrison-ford-flies-over-jetliner-awaiting-takeoff

Officer Goes Viral For PSA Law Video About…

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Viewed over 11 million times, one Indiana law enforcement officer’s fun video about a commonly ignored law has gone Viral.  Indiana’s State Police Sgt. John Perrine was getting frustrated after witnessing numerous drivers failing to signal before turning or changing lanes, and decided to do something about it.

Rather than just spending time issuing ticket after ticket in hopes of word getting out, Sgt. Perrine created a surprising video discussing the ‘amazing technological advances and fantastic benefits’ of using turn signal technologies (the lights used by drivers to let people know if they are going to change lanes, so the people behind them don’t speed up and create an accident).  The amusing video is a friendly reminder to use your turn signal, but also that officers are people who like to have fun at work when they can just like the rest of us!

There’s more to the story than an officer being creative while on the job: Sgt. Perrine is a Public Information Officer in his region, meaning one of his duties is to serve as a communication point in the community. Police departments throughout the country – including Nevada – have officers like Sgt. Perrine in place to help build relationships between officers and the communities they serve.

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Questions:

1:  Research and report : What is something fun or interesting that police officers that have done in your community?

2: Why do you think it is important or unimportant for officers to engage with the community (do things other than ‘official policing stuff’) ? 

3: What is something that you don’t think police officers already do in your community that you would like them to, and why would you want them to do that?    


Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers. For more details, you can view the original video that inspired this article here:
https://www.facebook.com/1702864376662853/videos/1873561542926468/

 




Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you


-Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-16T22:04:09+00:00
Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you -Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time.

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Project Real
2020-12-11T20:39:35+00:00
Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time. - Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]

My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity.


- Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]
Project Real
2020-12-16T21:47:04+00:00
My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity. - Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]
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